Accra, June 5, GNA- President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday called on citizens to strive to preserve the envious Ghanaian culture of religious tolerance.
He said the beautiful spectacle of the religious communities co-existing peacefully in the country ought not be taken for granted, as the development vision of the nation would come to naught without peace and stability.
“We must continue to preserve our culture of religious tolerance,” he said when he joined thousands of Muslims to mark this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the Independence Square, Accra.
Led in prayer by the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu, the Muslims offered prayers to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the nation needed the virtues of good neighnourliness, sacrifice and Discipline, which Islam required the faithful to cultivate during the month of Ramadan.
“Each one of us is an integral part of our nation, and for most parts, we are defined by what our nation stands for.
“We must therefore be prepared to uphold these virtues to help ensure our nation makes the desired progress, which will then allow us as citizens to realise our hopes and aspirations,” he admonished.
The President further urged the Muslim community to reject extremist among their fold and to continually live at peace with people of other religions.
He said he was of the belief that the visit of the national Chief Imam to the Christ the King Catholic Church in Accra as a gesture of solidarity ought be duly celebrated “because it rarely happened anywhere else.”
“Today, we are the envy of the world
when it comes to the peaceful coexistence of the different religious
communities.We cannot sacrifice this beautiful way of life for anything,
and certainly, not to people who seek to pervert religious beliefs.
“I urge all of you not to allow provocative agents destroy our unique way of life,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo held that though there had been threats and actual attacks about Christian and Muslim miscreants in the West African Region, and other parts of the world, “We do not ever want this phenomenon to occur in our country.”
Even as the security agencies world like to keep the nation and its citizens safe, he urged that suspicious characters be reported to the Police for prompt action decisive action.
“I encourage you to report suspicious characters, who come into your community to take advantage of our world-acclaimed hospitality to unleash mayhem on our country to the Police.
“Let us also exercise restraint in the face of provocation, for lack of restraint would only fit into the destructive plans of these miscreants who seek to destroy in the name of religion,” he told the gathering.
President Akufo-Addo assured that his government would ensure that prosperity was brought to the over four million people who lived in the 1800 Zongo communities across the country.
To that end, he announced that
the finance minister had signed a Commencement Warrant for the Ministry
for Inner Cities and Zongo Development to begin spending on Zongo
communities from the Zongo Development Fund as provided in the 2019
The development would help resolve the many issues that bedeviled the Zongo communities, particularly water and Sanitation, and the rehabilitation of school blocks, and the building of new ones, provision of desk for Islamic schools, and the rehabilitation of tertiary drains amongst many other projects.